Government Suggests Filing Company Accounts Early

The government’s website has a suggestion / warning that it might be wise to submit company accounts early.

Running a company comes with many responsibilities, and one of them is filing annual accounts on time. Failure to do so can have serious consequences, including penalties, a negative impact on your credit score, and limited access to finance. To avoid these issues, it is crucial for companies to file their accounts early. In this article, we will discuss the importance of timely filing, the available methods for filing, and how to avoid rejections.

Avoid Penalties

Filing annual accounts on time is a crucial responsibility for directors of all limited companies, including dormant companies. It is important to understand the implications of late filing, as it can affect your company’s reputation and its ability to conduct business. Late filing can also result in financial penalties, and in extreme cases, directors may face criminal records, fines, or disqualification.

Even if you have an accountant who handles your company’s accounts, it is still your responsibility as a director to ensure that they are filed on time. You should not solely rely on your accountant to meet the filing deadline.

Filing online is the preferred method for most companies. When you file your accounts online, Companies House will send you an email confirming receipt and registration of your accounts. To file online, you may need a company authentication code. If you need a new code, make sure to request it in advance, as it can take up to 5 days to arrive at your company’s registered office.

Software filing is also a popular option, with over 65% of companies using this method. Various software providers offer accounting packages that allow you to prepare and file accounts electronically. Depending on the functionality of the software, most types of accounts can be filed using this method.

In the near future, as per the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill, filing accounts using software will become mandatory. Paper filing and filing through online services will no longer be allowed. Companies House will inform businesses about the phased rollout of this change once the Bill becomes an Act. It is important to prepare for this transition and ensure that your company is equipped to file accounts using software.

If your company is unable to file online or by software, you can send paper accounts. However, this option should only be used if it is absolutely necessary. Keep in mind that paper accounts require manual checking, which can take over a week to process. To avoid delays and rejections, it is crucial to send paper accounts well before the deadline. Additionally, make sure to send the documents to the correct Companies House office to prevent redirection and further delays.

For companies registered in Scotland, starting from 4 September 2023, all documents need to be sent to the Cardiff office of Companies House. The Edinburgh office will no longer handle such filings. It is important to stay updated on the location of the appropriate office to ensure your documents reach the right destination.

It is worth noting that postal delays are not accepted as grounds for appealing a late filing penalty. Therefore, it is essential to plan ahead and allow enough time for the filing process to be completed without any complications.


Filing your company’s annual accounts on time is a vital responsibility as a director. Late filing can have negative consequences, including penalties, damage to your company’s reputation, and limited access to finance. To avoid these issues, it is recommended to file online or through software. If paper filing is necessary, ensure that the documents are sent well before the deadline and to the correct Companies House office. By prioritizing early and accurate filing, you can safeguard your company’s financial standing and maintain a positive reputation in the business community.